Important information about novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Elective Surgery Update

ELECTIVE SURGERY UPDATE

In line with DHHS guidance, commencing 26 November 2020, pre operative COVID tests will no longer be required for all elective surgery. 
You will be contacted and screened by our Pre Admission team, to check your clinical and epidemiological risk factors.  Using this screening, patients who are identified *at risk may be asked for a COVID test and to self isolate before surgery until the result of your swab is obtained.
Our Preadmission team will contact you to conduct the screening prior to admission, and it will be conducted again on the day of your admission.

For further information please contact you treating doctor or our Pre-admission staff: (03) 9411 7111.


Maternity COVID-19 Testing (Swab) Update

COVID-19 Screening

  • All maternity patients will be screened utilising the Covid-19 screening questions prior to admission
  • If the patient is symptomatic or answers yes to the Covid-19 screening questions (positive screen), a Covid-19 test (swab) will also be required.
 

Information for Visitors

Important Update: Due to the evolving COVID-19 outbreaks, our visitor restrictions have changed. Across our four sites, we are unable to permit any visitor who has been in any exposure site within Victoria until completion of DHHS quarantine and testing requirements. A list of current VIC exposure sites can be found here

Additionally any visitor who has returned from an affected area in NSW must not visit until completing the 14 day isolation period and obtaining a negative COVID19 test result.

Visitors who have been in the Greater Brisbane area on or after 2 January 2021 (Brisbane City, Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay and Redlands City) will not be permitted entry to our hospitals. Any person who has returned from the area must be tested and self isolate as per the DHHS requirements..

Close contacts of a person from any affected area are also asked not to visit until a negative COVID19 test result has been obtained.  These changes are to help keep our patients, visitors and staff safe.

 

 


Due to the emerging number of COVID-19 cases in Victoria, our visitor restrictions have changed, effective from midnight Wednesday 6 January 2021.

General Visitor Restriction Changes:

  • Two visitors, once per day, between 3 pm-8 pm
  • Maximum visit duration: One hour

ICU:

  • Two visitors, once per day, between 3 pm-8 pm
  • Maximum visit duration: One hour

Day Surgery & Day Oncology:

  • No visitors due to social distance space requirements
  • One visitor to assist with discharge requirements as needed

Consulting Suites:

  • One support person (dependents may attend if required).

Maternity:

  • Delivery suite – one support person allowed. If a support person presents with, or develops any COVID19 symptoms they will be required to leave and obtain a COVID19 test. 
  • Two visitors, once per day (in addition to support person) on postnatal ward between 3 pm - 8 pm
  • Maximum visit duration: One hour
  • Special Care Nursery – parents permitted at any time

Additionally, to comply with the Victorian DHHS COVID-19 Guidelines; visitors to the hospital must undergo a temperature check, answer screening questions and provide their contact details to be permitted entry 

Visitors will not be allowed to enter SVPHM hospitals if they:

  • Have attended any Victorian exposure site until completion of DHHS quarantine and testing requirements. Please see here for a current list of exposure sites. 
  • Have returned from NSW until completion of the 14 day isolation period and have received a negative COVID19 test result. 
  • Close contacts of people in affected areas are also asked not to visit. 
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19 or are awaiting test results, and have not met the criteria for discharge from isolation
  • Have arrived in Australia from overseas within the past 14 days
  • Have had known contact with someone who has COVID-19 
  • Have a temperature above 37.5 degrees 
  • Have symptoms of acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of smell or loss of taste)

Speak with other family, friends and carers before you visit..   As there is a limit on the number of people in a room at any one time, you may need to agree to visit patients at different times. It may be wise to call ahead and check with the patient, so your visit will not overlap with other intended visits. When visiting you need to ensure you follow directions from the hospital staff.


 

If you enter the hospital, you must practise the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet
  • Avoid contact with others (including touching, kissing, hugging, and other intimate contact)
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • If you are asked to wear a surgical face mask, after putting it on to cover your nose and mouth, do not touch the front of the mask and remove it using the ear loops or head straps.
  • Dispose of the used mask into a waste bin and perform hand hygiene with soap and water or alcohol hand rub.

 


 

Social distancing

It is important to practise social distancing to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. The more space between you and others, the harder it is for the virus to spread.

Important tips include:

  • You should aim to remain 1.5 metres apart at all times. If you are required to move closer than 1.5 metres, ensure that the time does not exceed 15 minutes
  • Do not shake hands
  • Do not share food
  •  


    Information for maternity patients

    To minimise the risk of COVID-19 to our maternity patients and their bubs we ask that partners OR support persons do not attend if they are experiencing at least one of the following symptoms and/or you have been overseas, or in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19:
    ▪️Fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath or wheezing, breathing difficulties▪️

    This decision has been made based on the most recent information provided by the Department of Health and Human Services around COVID-19. We will continue to provide updates and notify our SVPHM community when this precautionary measure changes 

    Maternity tours and education classes

    In response to the changing COVID-19 situation, for the safety of our patients and staff, we have taken the decision to postpone our group maternity tours and classes.

    Our maternity units are in the process of changing the way Childbirth Education classes are offered to our expectant parents during the COVID-19 situation. At this present moment, our Childbirth Education Classes have been made available online through a series of videos. If you are an expectant parent of SVPHM, you will receive an email with information on how to access this material.    

     

    FAQs

    What is this virus?

    Coronaviruses can make humans and animals sick. Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). The virus first seen in Hubei Province, China is called ‘novel’ because it is new. COVID-19 has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) and there has been a significant increase in new cases across many countries in Europe and around the world. It is likely that the virus originally came from an animal, and there is evidence that it can spread from person-to-person.

    What are the symptoms?

    Symptoms include fever OR an acute respiratory infection and include (but are not limited to) cough, sore throat, fatigue and shortness of breath with or without a fever.

    How is the coronavirus spread?

    The coronavirus is most likely to spread from person-to-person by:

    • Direct close contact with a person whilst they are infectious;
    • Close contact with a person with a confirmed infection coughs or sneezes; or
    • Touching objects or surfaces (such as doorknobs or tables or face masks) contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with a confirmed infection, and then touching your mouth or face.

    Most infections are transmitted by people when they have symptoms. There is now some evidence that people could be contagious before showing symptoms.

    How can I help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

    Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses. You should:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet
    • Avoid contact with others (including touching, kissing, hugging, and other intimate contact)
    • cough and sneeze into your elbow
    • If you are asked to wear a surgical face mask, after putting it on to cover your nose and mouth, do not touch the front of the mask and remove it using the ear loops or head straps.
    • Dispose of the used mask into a waste bin and perform hand hygiene with soap and water or alcohol hand rub.

    Where are the COVID-19 clinics and testing centres located?

    COVID-19 clinics and assessment centres have been established at various sites across Australia. Please click on the relevant link below to view the services available in your state:

    Can I still visit my specialist/doctor even if we are locked down for COVID-19?

    Yes, visiting your doctor is considered an essential indoor gathering under current guidelines. That means you must adhere to social distancing measures by keeping a distance of 1.5m between yourself and other people and good hygiene practices including using hand sanitiser before and after your visit with your doctor.

    What does isolate in your home mean?

    People who are recommended to be isolated should not attend public places, in particular work, school, childcare or university. Only people who usually live in the household should be in the home. Do not allow visitors into the home. There is no need to wear masks in the home. Where possible, get others such as friends or family, who are not required to be isolated to get food or other necessities for you. If you must leave the home, such as to seek medical care, wear a surgical mask if you have one.

    How is the virus treated?

    There is no specific treatment for coronaviruses. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Most of the symptoms can be treated with supportive medical care. Some people will require hospitalisation.    

    Where can I get more information?

    Visit the Australian Government Department of Health homepage at www.health.gov.au.

    Call the Public Health Information Line on 1800 004 599.

    Discuss any questions you have with the Public Health Agency monitoring you.

    Contact your state or territory public health agency:

    • ACT call 02 5124 9213
    • NSW call 1300 066 055
    • NT call 08 8922 8044
    • QLD call 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
    • SA call 1300 232 272
    • TAS call 1800 671 738
    • VIC call 1300 651 160
    • WA visit www.healthywa.wa.gov.au or call your local public health unit